Australia defender Charli Grant says they’re expecting an open game against Nigeria’s Super Falcons unlike Ireland; who played deep in the opening match of group B.
The Matildas returned to the training track in Brisbane without injured skipper Sam Kerr as they prepare for their Women’s World Cup clash with Nigeria.
“It’ll probably be a bit more of an open game on Thursday because Ireland do sit in a block and Nigeria do like to press high,” Grant said.
“So the game against Nigeria might even give Mary Fowler and Caitlin Foord more of an opportunity to shine even more.
Mary and Caitlin led the attack in Kerr’s absence and had some dynamic moments against Ireland, albeit without scoring.
“The message is we’ve just got to adapt and Cait and Mary played a really important role against Ireland,” young defender Charli Grant said.
“Of course we want Sam out there but she’s just gonna give lots of energy to those girls that are playing her role.”
Sunday’s training, after Matildas players had Saturday off, was effectively a “Kerr-watch”.
Kerr was walking normally, and without a compression bandage on her left calf as she took part in a meet and greet with junior players from local club Mt Gravatt Hawks before watching on as her teammates warmed up.
The 29-year-old was in good spirits as she chatted away and helped pack up some gear and sat on an esky to watch the training session.
Kerr is racing the clock to be involved in the Matildas campaign.